Sun Related Elements And The Existentialist Philosophy In The Outsider

1343 words - 5 pages

From the first few sentences of Albert Camus’ The Outsider, the protagonist, Meursault, is characterized as an amoral man. He is seemingly indifferent to the death of his own mother, despite the fact that societal principles would suggest he be deeply emotionally affected. His thoughts are instead centered upon the sun, which in return dictates his actions. In the novel, the sun is a representation of the societal weight which urges individuals to conform to norms. The presence of the sun indicates the stages of the development of Meursault’s belief in existentialism. As his understanding of existentialism grows and he realises his independence from society, references to the sun’s harsh effects gradually become absent. Furthermore, the sun is used as a metaphor for death to exhibit the inevitable nature of dying, another fundamental component of existentialism. Through such references to the sun, the novel is able to assist the reader in appreciating existentialism by exhibiting the gradual development of Meursault’s philosophy and by evoking emotions which sensitize the reader to feel the beauty of existentialism.

Within The Outsider, a parallel exists between the sun, which dictates Meursault’s actions, and societal constraints, which dictate mainstream society’s actions. The Arab’s death, caused by the sun’s pressure, is strikingly similar to Meursault’s death, caused by societal pressure which urged the jury to condemn him as a monster. This link is solidified by the diction near the Arab’s death: “But the whole beach was reverberating in the sun and pressing against me from behind.”1 The use of the word “pressing” is reminiscent of situations where one is pressured by society.
The first part of the novel depicts Meursault as a slave to the external force of the sun: “…it was my forehead that was hurting me the most and all the veins were throbbing at once beneath my skin.”2 The sun’s effect oppresses him as he suffers. As the sun represents societal pressure, this is symbolic of Meursault’s attachment to societal impositions. Meursault is pressed by the weight of society to commit certain acts, as he states shortly before the murder: “And because I couldn’t stand this burning feeling any longer, I moved forward.”3 This emphasizes the extent to which the sun dictates his actions. The strong imagery and heavy descriptions of the sun discomforts the reader, almost making him feel boxed and trapped: “My eyes were blinded by this veil of salty tears. All I could see were the cymbals of the sun clashing at my forehead…”4 This feeling of confinement evoked by the blindness and the tactile imagery helps the reader understand the unhappiness brought by the constraints which society places upon individuals.

Later, Meursault shows signs of disobedience against the sun: “And every time I felt the blast of its hot breath on my face, I set my teeth, closed my fists in my trouser pockets and tensed my whole body in defiance of the sun and of the...

Find Another Essay On Sun Related Elements and The Existentialist Philosophy in The Outsider

Kierkegaard and Abraham: A Literary Tool and Belief in the Ideal Christian-Existentialist

1690 words - 7 pages Abraham, the father of the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic religions is held up by Kierkegaard as the perfect model for faith in Fear and Trembling. The specific example most strongly used in Kierkegaard’s writing is the unhesitant actions of Abraham to heed God’s call and sacrifice his only son and promised heir to his kingdom, Isaac. Abraham faithfully follows God’s command without remorse, doubt, sadness, or anger. It is only moments before

About raisin in the sun and summary.

1175 words - 5 pages "A Raisin in the Sun" is a film about a black family living in cramped quarters in an inner-city neighborhood struggling with the effects of racism and the tensions brought on by their plans to move to a single family home in an all white neighborhood. It also shows their efforts to better their situation. The women in this film are strong role models: the mother for a strong and nurturing head of her family; the wife for a loving wife; and the

The development of Rousseau and Raskolnikov in Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment" and Camus' "The Outsider"

1718 words - 7 pages In every society, it is important for individuals to adhere to a set of principles inorder to maintain order. In Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment and Camus' TheOutsider , however, both protagonists ignored the values of their society. Raskolnikovand Meursault felt their own beliefs were significant, and through their actions they wereable to express them. As a result, one man was judged as a social deviant, while the otherman suffered

Comparison (Analysis): Theme of Existentialism in ";The Outsider" and "The Myth of Sisyphus" "The Outsider" and "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus

593 words - 2 pages The Stranger Analysis The opening line of The Stranger sets up the absurdity in Meursault.�He speaks about how his mom had "died today" or "yesterday maybe". He felt absolutely nothing and could only focus on what day she died. This kind of indifference goes on throughout the story, introducing to the reader what Meursault really thinks. The world sees him to have no meaning in a world filled with it. This

The Situation of Being an Outsider in Candle in the Wind and Remembrance Day

3866 words - 15 pages The Situation of Being an Outsider in Candle in the Wind and Remembrance Day The two poems "Candle in the Wind" written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and "Remembrance Day" written by Andrew Peters are both heart wrenching, impulsive, emotional and thought provoking poems. Both poems expressively highlight the issues of suicide, drugs, bullying, isolation, acceptance and being an outsider. They do this with powerful

Raisin In The Sun

609 words - 2 pages Drama Analysis WC: 609 Raisin in the Sun I will be writing on the five major characters in the story ?A Raisin in the Sun.? In the story all of the characters are different in there own ways but are all very much the same. In the story the five main characters are Lena Younger, Walter Younger, Joseph Asagai, Ruth Younger, and Beneatha Younger.First I will start with Lena Younger, who is better known as Mama throughout the story. Mama in the

raisin in the sun

689 words - 3 pages Running head: RELEVANT FILM/BOOK PAGE 1 RELEVANT FILM/BOOK PAGE 4 Relevant Film or Book ReportKaren A GillBSHS/422 Cultural Diversity and Special PopulationsSeptember 30, 2014Sheri MeyerRelevant Film or Book ReportTeam C has chosen to create an assessment and a strategy plan that is culturally competent on the character of Walter Lee Younger from the Play written by Lorraine Hansberry titled A Raisin in the Sun (Hansberry, (1959) 2007). Along

Raisin in the Sun

2019 words - 8 pages Lorraine Hansberry in her play, “Raisin in the Sun”, attempted to explain the feelings of the average African American Male in the 1940s. This persona, which is portrayed in the character Walter, had experienced a severe feeling of depression and hopelessness. In order to understand this source of grievance, one must relate back to the Great Migration and the dreams it promised and the reasons why many African Americans sought to move to the

raisin in the sun

882 words - 4 pages The Raisin in the Sun is a movie about a colored family who is trying to make it. There are five family members who all live in the same small two bedroom apartment. They all know that things are about to change because they know that Mama Younger is about to get a 10,000 check from where her husband had passed away recently. Each family member have their own dreams about what they want to do with the money, but they just don’t want to ask Mama

Fun in the sun

1434 words - 6 pages in front of me. Three cokes, one more bathroom break, and five magazines later, I was at the French Riviera.Nothing could have prepared me for how beautiful and magnificent it was going to be, or how interesting my trip down here was going to be. Just the different parts of our society, all in one place kind of throw you for a loop sometimes. I was read though for four weeks of nothing but fun in the sun J.

Heathen and Christian Elements in the Wanderer

2005 words - 8 pages Heathen and Christian Elements in the Wanderer       The modern word 'weird' bears only a superficial resemblance to its etymological descendent, wyrd.  What now stands for 'strange' and 'queer' only has an archaic connection to its classical meaning of 'Fate'.  During the process of evolution, however, the word went through many phases, especially during the formation of the English language by the Anglo-Saxons.         Wyrd

Similar Essays

From 'the Outsider' By Albert Camus To What Extent Is Mersault An Existentialist? Does His Philosophy Make Him An Outsider To The Society In Which He Lives?

742 words - 3 pages starts to become estranged from himself, which is very similar to the life of Camus.Clearly u can see Mersault's philosophy of being an existentialist has made him an outsider to society. Life is unrelenting to Mersault and in the end he did not get any rewards out of it, but he realised he was happy with life and how he lived it. Mersault knew that he was an outsider to ordinary society and lived in his own self created society. His pure laziness, negligence and attitudes to his life are why Mersault is an outsider to the society in which he lives.

Human Relations In Camus' Novel, The Outsider, From An Existentialist View

2218 words - 9 pages Human relations are very important for any human, and differ from one age to another because of the emerging of different movements across time. The human relations with God, love, society, death etc… are relations that human make to live his life. I study in this paper the human relations in The Outsider novel by Albert Camus from an existentialist view. I want to study Meursault relations who is the main character in Albert Camus’s novel The

The Outsider In Don Quixote And Frankenstein

1497 words - 6 pages majority, and this alienation, in Marxian parlance, can lead to an antagonistic position toward society, as dramatized in both Frankenstein.s “monster” and Dostoevsky.s Underground Man. The monster proclaims in his agony that he is “malicious because I am miserable,” and he is miserable, no doubt, because he is not merely alone but shunned from society (147). Shelly.s creation is in part derived from her father.s philosophy, who

Is The Plague Existentialist Essay

1671 words - 7 pages Abigail JonesSteven FelderHumanities 4October 27, 2014Is The Plague an Existentialist Novel?Jean-Paul Sartre, father of existentialist thought said, "Before you come alive, life is nothing; it's up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing else but the meaning you choose" (Guignon and Pereboom 307-308). Sartre's language is grounded in existentialist theory, a theory claiming that a person is free and able to make his or her own